About Michelle

A revolution is happening in the world of string playing.

Career highlights

  • Orchestral and solo sessions for Riot Games' video game League of Legends
  • Solo sessions for Bleeding Fingers (Hans Zimmer)
  • Guest artist for I See Stars music video
  • Performed with Jason Mraz, Eminem, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and more.
  • Consultant and body doubling for character Janine on Hallmark series "The Eleventh"
  • Private teacher for late but great WWE pro wrestler Chyna
  • Endorsed artist for NS Design (CR4) and Vivid Amplifiers (10" cab)
  • Has recorded at Sony, Warner Brothers, The Bridge, Village, United Recording, and more
  • Project manager/cellist for Symphonic Planet

Current bio 

Most people would be surprised to know that my entire career after graduating from my first conservatory degree has been for contemporary settings: singer-songwriters, pop artists, session work for video games, sidelining on television shows, filming music videos. Classical training got me that far, but the music I play day-to-day is not orchestral. Have I disappointed the ivory tower? 

After I earned my Bachelor's in classical cello performance and several years performing in "alternative" styles, I knew that I needed more to prepare me for the essentially endless possibilities that lay ahead in my career, so I gave up everything I had and drove across the country to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA as a North American Scholarship recipient. I studied with the acclaimed cellist, Eugene Friesen. While enrolled, I was selected to participate in a seminar with the best and brightest of MIT and Harvard graduates designing 360 media and sound design for VR and AR applications. 

My soul is no different from any entrepreneur, and in my field, that means I pursue new technology and a full spectrum of musical expression: contemporary pop, folk, hip hop, film scores, EDM, rock, and more. 

Early in my career, I was selected via audition to participate in Hollywood Scoring's Future Session Players Clinic, coached by David Lowe, under the direction of the incredible Bruce Broughton. In the years following, I had the incredible honor of recording orchestral and solo sessions for Riot Games' multiplayer online game, "League of Legends". I have worked with hundreds of incredible musical projects. Some notable names include the I See Stars, Maisy Kay, Erick Morillo, Coolio, Jason Mraz, Eminem, TRans-Siberian Orchestra, and more. I was a consultant and stand-in for the character Janine (Ren Harris) on the Hallmark Channel original series, "The Eleventh", and got to meet Cloris Leachman and the late Florence Henderson only a few months before she passed away. Over the years, I have recorded at the Barbara Streisand Stage at Sony Pictures, The Bridge, United Recording on Sunset Blvd., East West Studios at Warner Bros, Clearlake Studios, The Village Recorder, and others. Most recently, I recorded solo cello for a project with Bleeding Fingers, a joint venture with the film composer, Hans Zimmer. 

One of my notable (and very hard-working) students was the late WWE wrestler, Joanie "Chyna" Laurer, who passed suddenly at a time in her life when the cello symbolized to her a rebirth. She was an amazing woman. After she passed, I collaborated with Coolio (who I am told was a good friend of hers) and contracted the musicians for her public memorial service. 

One of my ongoing current passion projects is Symphonic Planet. We are a close family of musicians and sound professionals who travel the world capturing sound phenomena and composing music inspired by our adventures. (Think of it like travel photography but with noise!) I get to travel to faraway places and capture sounds using 360 recording technology, and create soundscapes and music out of our custom sample libraries. It is through this endeavour as the team's project manager that I also get to flex my passion for travel and photography. 

No musician's life would be complete without their gear family. I am an NS Design artist and proudly endorse the fantastic CR4 cello. Vivid Amps 10-inch cab is what I use for amplification in Los Angeles. Being an artist for these companies isn't just about the endorsement deals, I truly feel like I have been welcomed onto their teams as family (seriously, I have now had Thanksgiving in Maine--that's deep), and I couldn't have asked for more.

As for the future.... music has always been the main focus of my life and it will continue to be. I have sacrificed so much to be the best version of myself. I have done it while treating my colleagues with love and respect. I believe in the new, limitless model of string playing, full of creative entrepreneurship for those who are brave enough to take risks. I support artists like Tina Guo, Lindsey Stirling, Taylor Davis, Kevin "K.O." Olusola, who are the boldest friends and colleagues I have. They are not our future; they are our present. They are the crest of the wave my career rides on. I am humbled by their hard work and dedication, and I strive to follow in their path, as I look forward to the rest of my life. I will continue to take risks and be glad I did. 

...clever technique employed by live cellist Michelle Packman, who provides a cinematic-style scoring to the piece...
— Mayank Keshaviah, L.A. Weekly